Wednesday, September 30, 2015


We are fortunate to have a neighbor Lupe who is always willing to check on our cat, get the mail and pick up the newspaper, and generally keep her eyes open for anything going on around our house whenever we go away. To thank her for doing so while we went to CO for the weekend, I made her this delicious Apple Crumb Cake.

I had intended to make it to take to Hillcrest to the volunteers, but I came back from the weekend with a sore throat and runny nose. I had to call the shop Tuesday morning to tell them I wouldn't be able to come in for my shift. I am better, but not really sure if I was being bothered by allergies or a cold.

When I decided I wanted to make something to thank Lupe, I thought about the Apple Crumb Cake, but instead of making it in a 9 x 13 - inch pan, I would make two of them and use an 8 - inch round cake pan. This worked out perfectly. It was so impressive looking when I took it to her because it had cooked up to the top of the pan. 

I did have to experiment with the cooking time since I was using a different sized pan. I also used a sugar-free yellow cake mix and no-sugar-added apple pie filling. I also used brown sugar blend thereby reducing the sugar calories in half for the topping. The recipe didn't call for these changes, so fill free to use the regular ingredients. (Source: Quick Fixes with Mixes by Lia Wilson)


1        yellow cake mix (I used a sugar-free yellow cake mix)
1        20-ounce can apple pie filling (I used no-sugar- added apple pie filling)
1/2     cup flour
1/2     cup packed brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup packed brown sugar blend)
1/2     teaspoon cinnamon
1/4     cup butter, softened
1/2     cup slivered almonds
ingredients to make the cake mix, except use milk for the water. 

GLAZE (below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the pan(s). I used two 8-inch round cake pan. Can also use a 9 x 13-inch pan. I greased mine with my homemade Pan Grease.

Mix the cake mix according to directions on the box except use milk in place of the water.

Pour the batter into evenly in the pan(s).

Cut the apple slices in the apple pie filling into chunks so that you have more to cover the batter better.

Spoon the chopped pie filling lightly over the batter.

Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter in a smaller bowl until crumbly. Add the almonds.

Sprinkle mixture over the top of the batter/pie filling in the pan.

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes for the round cake pans or 45+ minutes in the rectangular pan. (Lia said to cook it for 1 hour, but I think that might be too long.) Check doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center trying to avoid an apple chunk.

Cool on wire rack.

Drizzle glaze over the cake.

1     cup powdered sugar (sifted)
4     teaspoons warm water

Serve warm or cool.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Yesterday I shared with you a super simple, but oh-so-good slow cooker BBQ shredded chicken recipe. I made it after enjoying the one Dil Sara made when we visited the family in CO. 

The day before we spent a full day at Miller Farm in northern CO picking veggies. I decided to pick a cabbage and make some coleslaw the next day to go with our BBQ sandwiches I saw on Sara's menu board. We also picked up and also pulled up some carrots.

My mother was the family member who always made the coleslaw when her family got together, which was often. I never really paid that much attention to exactly what and how much she put with it. Truth be known, she probably didn't measure anything. Just a little of this and a little of that. Her main thing was chopping the cabbage up finely. If she was using the bagged cabbage that is already shredded, she would chop it up finer.

When my son Jeffrey told me I could make the coleslaw, he gave me a hard time because I didn't know "exactly" what to add. I ended up searching and found a recipe online from Mr. Food which inspired me. 

Well, it was a big hit with especially the grandkids at dinner. My son said it was okay, but he would have added a little more sugar. Everyone else thought it was perfect, but if you make it and taste test it and want to add a little more it.


4        cups shredded cabbage
1/2     cup grated carrots
1/2     cup mayonnaise (I used Mayo with olive oil, Reduced fat mayonnaise)
1-1/2  tablespoons lemon juice
1         tablespoon sugar
1/2     teaspoon salt

Shred the cabbage and grate the carrots.

Combine the mayo, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a small bowl.

Combine the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Toss to evenly distribute the carrots with the cabbage.

Add the mayo mixture and stir until evenly coated.

Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Retoss with a fork before serving.

If you are making for a large family (which I was in CO), double the amount of the ingredients.

Monday, September 28, 2015


While in CO, we enjoyed DIL Sara's shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches. She usually "cooks" one of our meals in the slow cooker. It is so easy and she isn't tied to the kitchen. It also fills the house with delicious smelling aromas. 

I saw on her menu board that we were having BBQ sandwiches, but didn't realize it was going to be chicken until it was time to eat. We usually do pulled pork at our house. (I should say "We used to do....)

I made some coleslaw from a cabbage and carrots that we had picked the day before at Miller Farm. I will be sharing that recipe with you tomorrow. My mother always made such good coleslaw and I regret never actually getting her recipe.


chicken (I used 3 large chicken breasts)
your favorite BBQ sauce

That's it.

Place frozen or thawed chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Cover with BBQ sauce. (I bought an 18 - ounce bottle of Kraft slow - simmered Sweet Honey Barbecue Sauce. It has no high fructose corn syrup.) I didn't use the whole bottle because I wanted to have some to add to the sandwich when we fixed it.

Cook on low for 4 - 6 hours or until chicken will shred with a fork. (Sara cooked hers for 4 hours, but I had to cook mine at least 5 hours.)

Shred the cooked chicken using a couple of forks.

Can set slow cooker to Keep Warm if you aren't quite ready to eat.


Add a little more BBQ sauce if you like...


Friday, September 25, 2015


I usually check out Dil Sara's cookbooks when we go visit our son Jeffrey and his family for interesting sounding recipes. If you read my blog often, you probably know how excited I was to see her newest addition called Amish-Country Cookbook, Volume 1. It contains favorite recipes gathered by Das Dutchman Essenhaus, a restaurant in Middlebury, Indiana owned by Bob and Sue Miller. If the recipe is one contributed by an employee of the restaurant, they give the person's name and their job.

Honey Chip Cookies is a favorite of Karen Lehman, a waitress. The recipe appealed to me because of the limited sugar and it only makes about 3 dozen cookies. I usually cut a recipe down if it makes a lot of cookies...unless I am making them for a gathering. Well, I wasn't disappointed in the results. The recipe makes a really good tasting chocolate chip cookie. Karen didn't include any directions for mixing the ingredients. I just mixed them up as I am accustomed to doing. I also reduced the cookie time as they would have been burned had I cooked them the time Karen indicated.


1/3       cup shortening
1/2       cup honey
1           egg
1           teaspoon vanilla
1/2       cup nuts
1-1/4    cup flour
1/2       teaspoon baking soda
1/4       teaspoon salt
1           small pkg chocolate chips (6 - ounces or 1 cup)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.

Cream shortening and honey til smooth.

Add egg and vanilla.

Combine the flour, soda, and salt in a small bowl.

Add dry ingredients all at once and mix.

Add nuts and chips.

Drop dough about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. I use a small scoop that holds a tablespoon of water to make my cookies. After I dropped the dough on the cookie sheet, I turn in over so the flat side is more on top. (Looks like I didn't take a picture of the second sheet when I turned the dough over. They flatten more this way than if I just drop the dough onto the sheet straight from the scoop.)

Bake 10 minutes or until lightly brown.

Remove immediately to cool on wire rack.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


We spent this past weekend in CO visiting with our older son Jeffrey and his family. It was the first time we have been there since last December. They came here to surprise us for my birthday this summer which was the best birthday surprise ever. Dil Sara had sent me a link for the Miller Farm in Platteville, CO asking if we would like to go there while we were visiting. She has been quite busy this summer canning fruits and vegetables for them to enjoy during the year.

Well, it was quite an experience. None of us really knew exactly how the process would work. When we first got there the kids had fun playing on the different exhibits. Enjoy some pictures I took...

After eating a quick lunch, it was time for us to go "pick" our vegetables. We all loaded on a trailer being pulled by a tractor.

The tractor pulled us out to the fields and stopped at different places (I think we stopped at least 5 times)for everyone to get off and pick. (We were allowed to leave with up to 5 bags per paid visitor which meant we could fill 35 bags.)

Almost through, our tractor got a flat tire and we had to unload all our bags and wait for another tractor/trailer to come get us. Needless to say we were all tired by this time and as many people stayed on the trailer at the last stop as got off. We weren't going to get off until the driver said there was broccoli at the stop. The older kids and I got off but we (and no one else either) found any broccoli. I took this picture of everyone else after the last stop. Henry had decided to take a little nap. You can't see how dirty our hands were or how really tired we all were. (My husband thought he would be cute and stick his tongue out at me.)

One last picture before we left....

This is how much we ended up with....about 22 bags that contained potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, tomatoes, beets, corn, pumpkins, squash, cabbage, and one itty-bitty eggplant for Colby. When we "unbagged" everything back at the house, we realized my bag of green and ripe tomatoes and peppers was missing. Someone out there got home and opened a bag half full of green tomatoes and probably wondered "what in the world did someone pick all these green tomatoes for?" 

This is what we ended up bringing home - minus a cabbage, the potatoes, and a couple of ears of corn that didn't make the picture.

Sunday was filled with going to church, playing games and watching a little football. Before we knew it, it was Monday and time to say goodbye and come back home to KCMO.

Just one more picture of these precious grandkids.

and Colby being Harry Potter....

Christmas can't come soon enough for us!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


When our quilting canasta group met Thursday at Friend Fran's house, I had several different desserts I wanted to make. I finally decided to try this Apple Date Crisp recipe I found in a small cookbook called Recipes We Grew Up With from Taste of Home Books. I have made several recipes from it that have been big hits. With apples a good price in the grocery stores right now, it was a perfect choice. AND everyone really enjoyed it.


6 to 8 apples, peeled and sliced
1         cup chopped dates
2/3    cup packed brown sugar
1/2     cup all-purpose flour
1         teaspoon ground cinnamon
6        tablespoons cold butter or margarine, thinly sliced
1         cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the apples and dates in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon; cut in the butter. (I used a big fork.)  Add the nuts.

Spread the mixture of the apples and dates in a 9 x 13 - inch baking dish. (I used a slightly smaller, but deeper baking dish.) Make sure the dates don't all sink to the bottom but are spreading out evenly with the apples.

Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top of the apples/dates.

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Serve warm.